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5 Ways to Overcome Anticipatory Anxiety or Stage Fright.
Do you have a talk coming up, maybe a public speaking engagement? These therapeutic tips from the Counseling Center of New Smyrna Beach or CCNSB will help you and your improve your performance.
This Stage freight or as I call it Anticipatory Anxiety is a very natural feeling. In fact many studies show that it actually helps with the performance or talk, by increasing alertness, concentration and awareness. The feeling is also known as adrenaline and other stress hormones like cortical start to be activated.
But what about when the stage freight takes over, when worry and stress about performing gets to be too much, these hormones give people a negative feeling — the one that causes you to feel cold or sweaty, have an upset stomach, or feel like you can’t think straight, or worse yet use benzodiazepine medications like Xanax to cope.
These tips from the therapist at the Counseling Center of New Smyrna Beach can help you avoid that feeling:
Psych yourself up. Confidence helps combat stress hormones! Watch a football team before they run on to the field. They get in a group and pray or sing a team song to pump themselves up with confidence and team spirit. You can do this whether you’re performing alone or as part of a group. Have parents, family members, and friends give you a pep talk. Keep a journal as you practice; then if you think, “I can’t do this,”
Be prepared. You’re less likely to freeze up if you’re well prepared. Rehearse as much as you can and practice in front of others at every opportunity. Most of all, think positively: Tell yourself “I’
Learn ways to chill. Young performers, such as Olympic athletes and music soloists talk about how important it is to prepare for the pre-performance jitters as well as the performance itself. Some take along a photo album of favorite pictures; compile a play list on their iPod to help them relax, or learn yoga, mediation and breathing techniques to help them feel calm. Some people need to be active to relax, others need to be still and calm. Hypnosis is another great tool to use to help build your confidence while relaxing. Find out what works for you, and practice.
Look after yourself. Before big performances it’s easy to let taking care of yourself slip as you spend too much time on rehearsals and practice. You’ll look and feel your best if you get enough sleep and eat healthy meals before your performance. Exercise can also help you feel good, and along with sleep and nutrition, is an excellent way of keeping those stress hormones from getting out of control.
Find out what the experts do. You can find books, DVDs, and online information about how to give your best when you perform, depending on what type of performance you’re preparing for. Check out stories about Olympic athletes or your favorite star to get their tips. Or ask the cast of your school play or your drama or music teacher how they beat stage fright. And if your parents or grandparents ever performed, they may have their own secrets to share. Even hearing stories of a worst-case scenario (like forgetting lines in a play or freezing up in a violin solo), can help you relax by realizing that people recover from potentially embarrassing situations.
If none of these techniques work and you are still experiencing Anticipatory Anxiety give one of our therapist at the Counseling Center of New Smyrna Beach a call. Each one has training that can help you overcome these types of fears and anxiety.
We can be reached at (386) 423.9161 or online at http://www.ccnsb.com